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The McBarge is currently anchored in Burrard Inlet near Vancouver, British Columbia

The McBarge, officially named the Friendship 500, was a McDonald's restaurant, built on a barge for Expo '86 in Vancouver, British Columbia.[1] Moored on Expo grounds in Vancouver's False Creek, it was the first floating McDonald's location in the world, intended to showcase future technology and architecture.[1][2] Although the floating design allowed for the barge to operate in a new location following the exhibition, the derelict McBarge has since 1991 been anchored empty in Burrard Inlet,[3] amid industrial barges and an oil refinery.[1]

Though disused and forgotten[1] for years, the barge is currently the centrepiece of a proposed waterfront development on the Fraser River in Mission, British Columbia, including a restaurant and marina.[4]


The restaurant by designed by Robert Allan Ltd. for Expo '86 and was one of five McDonald's locations on the Expo grounds, all of which were constructed for a total of $12 million.[2] It was initially intended to be used as a McDonald's restaurant after Expo '86, but the barge remained empty at the Expo grounds until 1991, when the new owner of the grounds forced McDonald's to remove it.[5] It has since been anchored derelict in Burrard Inlet, north of Burnaby, British Columbia.[3][6]

In June 2009, the McBarge's current owner, Gastown developer Howard Meakin, submitted a proposal to the Mission city council for a waterfront development on the Fraser River, with the former McBarge as the centrepiece. Named "Sturgeon's on the Fraser", the development would include multiple restaurants and a marina complex, including paddlewheeler excursions and float plane service to Victoria and Nanaimo.[1][7] As of August 2010, the proposal enjoys local support, but awaits council approval.[8] Other proposals that have been put forward without owner interest include using the barge as a homeless shelter to alleviate overcrowding in Vancouver's current temporary shelters.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Toth, Christina (2010-08-20). "McBarge, a floating relic from Expo 86, gaining new friends on Facebook". Abbotsford Times. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  2. ^ a b Rudolph, Barbara; Stoler, Peter (1986-04-28). "Westward Ho to Expo 86". Time. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  3. ^ a b Sandals, Leah (2010-01-13). "The innocence of a newborn McBarge". National Post. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  4. ^ "A vision for the Mission waterfront". Abbotsford News (Black Press). 2009-06-29. Archived from the original on 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  5. ^ "McBarge floats to new site" (Pay-Per-View). Kitchener-Waterloo Record. 1991-07-11. p. B.4. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  6. ^ Lee, John (2009). Walking Vancouver: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Spectacular Waterfront, Dynamic Neighborhoods, Hip Hangouts, and Tasty Diversions (Google Books search). Wilderness Press. p. 106. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  7. ^ "Gastown developer eyes Mission waterfront". Abbotsford Times (Canwest). 2009-07-27. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Brian (2010-08-22). "Expo 86 McBarge could dock in Mission". The Province. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  9. ^ Howell, Mike (2009-01-08). "Of Olympic promises, shelter stats and the McBarge...". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 2009-08-28.